USER'S GUIDE TO THE NEWSWIRE
1. The Front Page
We designed and built the Newswire for busy news people who know what they need, and who want it FAST. No pop-ups, no time-consuming graphic elements, fast navigational schemes -- this is a working Web site for professionals who need results.
This Newswire represents the work of hundreds of journalists and contributors who write for BridgeTower Media newspapers across the United States. When each story is completed in our newsrooms and prepared for print publication, it is sent immediately to our Newswire editors. They lightly re-edit, scan for transmission errors, occasionally rewrite headlines for better usefulness in this environment, and categorize stories according to our proprietary organizational schemes. Each story is tagged by its type and content to facilitate online searching.
Here is a concise guide to understanding and using the Newswire.
1. The Front Page
You must log-in to begin using the Newswire, but the system will remember your log-in for 24 hours. You may have to re-enter daily, or when you open a new browser.
The headline list on this page changes constantly, with newest stories appearing at the top of the queue. This is a short list of the most recent stories distributed via the Newswire on this day. It is not a complete list of today’s stories. If it is important to you to see a whole day’s stories, you need to be at “Today’s News” page.
2. Passwords and Logging In
The username and password that you chose were programmed into our system by Newswire technical wizards when you clicked "I accept" upon registration. Each news outlet initially is allowed one username/password pair. This may be used by all newsroom staffers at your company. We are happy to provide more username/password pairs. Telephone circulation at 1-800-451-9998 for assistance.
You also should call circulation at that number if you wish to change either your username or your password.
3. How to Go Directly to News Stories
Other pages have lists of headlines. On those pages, click on the headline and you will go directly to the story.
4. Navigating the Newswire Site
The “Today’s News” button takes you to a dynamic list of today’s stories. Newly arriving stories appear every few minutes at the top of the page. The stack accumulates as the day passes, and because our contributing daily newspapers all publish on the morning cycle, each day most of the stories arrive in late afternoon and the evening. You should note that none of our newspapers publishes on Sundays, so every Sunday the “Today’s News” page is blank.
The “This Week” button takes you to a listing of all news stories for the current day and the previous seven days. These appear in alphabetical order by originating publication, and within the publication grouping they are arranged with newest stories first. Although we call this “this week,” in fact it is a rolling seven-day collection of news.
The “Search” button takes you to the search page, where you can specify in some detail what you are seeking.
The “Home” button takes you to the front page, where a handful of the latest news stories from our editors appear, no matter what day of the week. This page also displays the log-in box. Because story display here seldom is more than half a dozen stories, it is not recommended that you use this page as your main working page.
The “User’s Guide” button takes you to this online guide.
The “Contact” button explains whom to contact at the Newswire and for which reasons: sales, editorial, technical support, names, phone numbers, email addresses, etc
5. Using the "This Week" Page
Headlines appear in the left column. You can click on any headline you choose and go directly to a story. If you hover your cursor over a headline without clicking, after three seconds a bubble tells you the word count of the underlying story.
The second column indicates the BridgeTower Media publication originating the story on that line. Position your cursor atop the letters in this column. If you don’t click, after about three seconds a bubble appears telling you the full name and location of the publication. Clicking on the letters opens a new window and takes you to that newspaper’s Web site. The Newswire window remains undisturbed on your screen.
The third column indicates the original print publication date for the story.
Stories on this page are arranged alphabetically by publication name. Within each publication’s list, the stories are arranged with most recent coming first.
6. Using the “Search” Page
The “Keyword Search” window near the top of this page allows you to create any word or phrase you want and apply that to search our entire database of stories.
Our search engine by default looks for words, not strings of letters. For example, if you use “All” as a search criterion, the engine looks for the word “all” and not for the letters a-l-l in the middle of other words.
If you enter several words, the engine assumes you are looking for that precise phrase. If you enter several words separated by commas, the engine treats each comma as OR. The “Search Tips” button on the search page provides more information.
You should use no other punctuation. No periods, no apostrophes, no hyphens, etc. If you use such punctuation, the search engine may not perform properly and may even return a blank page reading “Unable to find…”
The second search method is Drill-down Searching. If you don’t want to use unique keywords, and would rather use our Newswire archiving system for your search, you should use the “Drill-down Search” fields farther down on the Search page.
With Drill-down Searches, you can apply any of the criteria offered in the seven fields shown on the page. Our editors classify articles by whether they are news or commentary. They also tag them with up to 55 subject categories (and some with even more finely honed sub-categories).
You do not have to fill in all of the fields. You can use a single field, or several, or all. Leaving the “Publication” field and the “Date” fields blank causes a full-archive search and produces the longest list of search results – and it may take longer to complete your search. The more fields you use in defining your search, the faster your search and the shorter and more focused will be your search results.
When using the starting or ending date fields, please use the following convention: mm/dd/yyyy, as in 03/1/2011.
Also please note that the top "Search" button generates only a keyword search. The bottom "Search" button generates only a drill-down search. Be sure to click the proper button reflecting what you want to do.
After you click the appropriate "Search" button, our system generates a headline list on a Search Results Page. The top of this tells you the number of stories matching your criteria. Headlines are listed, ten to a page. Click on any headline to see the story. If this was a keyword search, the results pages include a scoring column indicating the percentage match our engine calculates for each story. Other columns display the originating newspaper and the date of first publication. Results are listed with highest scores first. (Drill-down Search results do not show scoring.)
Please note that if you begin a new search in the same browser window, the system may not retain results of your old search. You can open another browser window and start a second search without losing results of the first.
7. Working With a Story
The page’s header includes the subject, originating publication, writer, full list of subject category tags assigned by Newswire editors to this particular story as well as any sub-categories, and original print publication date.
The publication field is hotlinked; if you click on the newspaper name, a new window opens at the newspaper’s Web site. Your Newswire page remains undisturbed in the original browser window.
Below a horizontal line on the page, the byline, credit line and story itself are ready to be clipboarded out of the Newswire and into your own application software. You can clipboard and flow the text into Quark®, Pagemaker®, Microsoft Word®, WordPerfect®, or any other commonly used application you may be using. Your hardware platform can be any version of Windows or Macintosh.
Please note that terms of your user agreement require that you include any byline and the credit line when using any of our stories. Otherwise, please feel free to edit any of the stories as you normally would from your other newswires.
8. Editing Tips for Busy Users
If you have weekly story needs, use the “This Week” button. We designed this page with weekly newspapers in mind. This page, too, automatically refreshes itself every ten minutes.
Don’t forget to use the Newswire as a research archive for your reporters. You can do fast keyword searches on people, companies or issues.
Drill-down Searches are especially good for special sections material, either to get stories for direct use, or for starter research so your reporters can get a push-start in doing their own local material.
On the “Today’s News” and “This Week” pages, hovering your cursor over hotlinked text – not clicking, just hovering – generates time-saving pop-up bubbles that provide additional useful information, such as word counts or source newspapers.
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